Friday, March 7, 2014

The map is not the territory

"The map is not the territory" is a phrase that was often used by Robert Anton Wilson.  He got that from one of his favorite linguists, Alfred Korzybski.  "He is remembered for developing the theory of general semantics. Korzybski's work argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and by the structure of language. Korzybski thought that people do not have access to direct knowledge of reality; rather they have access to perceptions and to a set of beliefs which human society has confused with direct knowledge of reality."(

From the wikipedia article on Map-territory relations:  "The map–territory relation describes the relationship between an object and a representation of that object, as in the relation between a geographical territory and a map of it. Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski remarked that "the map is not the territory", encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories, that is, confuse models of reality with reality itself."

Jason Silva tweeted this article on Maps:  

How the north ended up on top of the map

"Why do maps always show the north as up? For those who don’t just take it for granted, the common answer is that Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top. But there’s really no good reason for the north to claim top-notch cartographic real estate over any other bearing, as an examination of old maps from different places and periods can confirm."  Read the rest here

I certain enjoy a good map.  Here is a link to the video game map atlas.
So I will leave you with one of my all time favorite maps:

No comments:

Post a Comment